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Lines of Symmetry

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The Balance of Nature

Credit: Tristan Schmurr
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58411470@N00/8477405499
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Do you know what a botanist does? How might symmetry play into the role of the botanist? Take a look below to find out!

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A botanist studies botany, which is the study of plant life. Botanists who work outdoors may be plant explorers examining all of the plant life around them.

Credit: Francisco Antunes
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/franciscoantunes/2191180644/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Everywhere in the plant world there are patterns, and these patterns often organize themselves around symmetry. When a figure “mirrors” itself in an even proportion, we say that the object has symmetry. The flower in the picture above is symmetrical, and specifically has rotational symmetry. You can turn the flower in any direction and the image looks exactly the same. Next time you are on a walk or in a garden, look around and explore the symmetry!

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX4cx-9zT1A

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Watch the following video to see more examples of Mother Nature’s symmetry. Then read the article at the next link for more on symmetry, plants, and mathematics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MptFjthLZY

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20071007/COLUMNIST18/710070571?p=1&tc=pg

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Tristan Schmurr; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58411470@N00/8477405499; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Francisco Antunes; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/franciscoantunes/2191180644/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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